Back in 2009, the International Olympic Committee voted to re-introduce golf as an Olympic sport back into 2016 and 2020 Summer Olympic games. The 2016 Summer Olympics are being held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for the first time in 116 years for the women and 112 years for the men.
A total of 60 players from 41 nations qualified for the men’s and women’s events based on International Golf Federation rankings. While some male players who qualified elected not to attend and compete, many female players are excited to participate to help generate more interest in women’s golf. Team USA for the women will be represented by Lexi Thompson, Stacy Lewis and Gerina Piller with most of the Top 10 World Ranking females also participating, including #1 Lydia Ko, #2 Brooke Henderson and #3 Inbee Park.
The women will compete Wednesday, August 17 through Saturday, August 20. Follow coverage on Golf Channel at 6:30 a.m. EDT Wednesday through Friday and at 6 a.m. EDT on Saturday.
The event takes place at the Olympic Golf Course at the Reserva de Marapendi in the Barra da Tijuca zone, designed by golf course designer Gil Hanse, with assistance from World Golf Hall of Famer Amy Alcott. The format will be a 72-hole individual stroke play competition. Since it’s an individual rather than a team competition, in the event of a tie for first, second or third place, there will be a play-off to determine the gold, silver and bronze medal winner.
The men played last week and the gold, silver and bronze medals went to Justin Rose, Henrik Stenson and Matt Kuchar. Team USA was represented on the men’s side by bronze medal winner Matt Kuchar, Bubba Watson, Rickie Fowler and Patrick Reed. Other notables in the field included Sergio Garcia and 2016 Masters Champion Danny Willett.
The course will become a public facility after the games and the hope is it will be used to welcome new golfers to the game in Brazil and grow the game in South America.
Good luck to Team USA – bring home some medals!